Personal injuries are no joke. Nearly 40 million people in the U.S. require treatment for injuries.
The most common personal injury of all is slip and fall accidents. Falls happen instantly, and these seemingly simple injuries can have severe and costly health consequences.
You can also get a personal injury from car accidents, defective toys, medical procedures, dog bites, and accidents at state parks.
With injuries come recovery costs, and you want the best settlement possible. That’s why it’s crucial to find personal injury lawyers who will fight for your case.
Follow these steps to discover the right law firm for your needs.
1. Gather Referrals from Friends and Family First
Do you have any friends, loved ones, or co-workers who received a settlement for a personal injury? Which personal injury lawyers did they use?
Your personal and extended network of acquaintances is a goldmine of leads. See if you can get a good referral from a trusted individual first. Nothing beats first-hand experience from someone you can trust.
Tap into your social media network too. See if any Facebook friends and followers have any legal leads.
2. Find a Lawyer That Specializes in Your Injury
There are many types of personal injuries. It’s crucial to hire a lawyer who specializes in your particular ailment.
Sizeable personal injury law firms may be able to specialize in a wide range of personal injuries. You’ll also find “boutique” law firms that specialize in a few practice areas.
If you suffer a slip and fall accident, you don’t want to hire a lawyer that specializes in dog bites. Narrow down your choices to only those personal injury lawyers that specialize in slips and falls.
Research extensively online to find out more about practice areas that meet your needs.
3. Check Out Online Reviews and Client Testimonials
Did your network turn up dry? Is your gut telling you there’s something more?
It never hurts to look into referrals more and read online reviews and testimonials. In fact, it’s recommended.
If a client has a bad experience, they’re likely to sound off online. If another client has an exceptional experience, they’ll express their satisfaction too. If a lead feels too good to be true, research further to find the scoop.
Avoid personal injury lawyers with terrible online reviews. These would include angry reviews with 1 to 2-star ratings at best. Look for problems with fees, settlement amounts, customer service, and communication.
Always check a law firm’s website for authentic testimonials for real satisfied clients. You’ll also find real reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and Google Reviews.
4. Look for Experience
Are you worried about working with a lawyer who’s too new to the industry? You’re not alone. Experience matters.
You want to receive the highest settlement possible for your injury, and experienced lawyers know how to negotiate amounts.
Read a lawyer’s About Page on their website first. Many law firms outline their company history in the About section.
Has a lawyer devoted 10, 20, or even 30 years to the community? How many clients have they worked with?
Not any personal injury lawyer out of the phone book will do. These are essential questions to consider.
5. Where Did The Personal Injury Lawyers Go to Law School?
Not all personal injury lawyers are made alike, and the same goes for law schools. Where an attorney attended law school is more consequential than you think.
Ideally, your lawyer should have attended an ABA-approved law school. ABA stands for the American Bar Association. If your personal injury lawyer attended an ABA school, you could rest knowing they’ve received an industry-standard education.
It’s not hard to check whether or not a law school is ABA approved. You can find this information on a law school’s website or through the American Bar Association itself.
6. Ask How Many Cases They’ve Won
Industry experience and a degree from an ABA-approved law school are two pieces of the puzzle. Most importantly, is the lawyer good at their job?
All the experience in the world can’t make up for poor instincts. If a lawyer doesn’t consistently win their cases or successfully argue for better settlements, that’s a red flag.
Don’t hesitate to ask prospective lawyers about their case success rates. If a lawyer is reticent to disclose that information, that’s a red flag. Personal injury lawyers should be happy to discuss their successes.
7. Do Other Lawyers Refer Their Services?
Is a prospective lawyer respected amongst their peers? Are they an upstanding figure in the legal community? This point of concern is often overlooked.
Finding the right personal injury lawyer takes time. Chances are you’ll be talking to lots of different lawyers. Consider referrals from other lawyers as well.
Lawyers often refer to one another if their practice areas overlap or complement each other.
8. Inquire About the Payment Structure
Personal injury lawyers cost money. You want to receive the best legal counsel for your hard-earned money.
Avoid lawyers who overcharge. Be also wary of too many upfront fees. Work with a law firm that has a contingency structure, which means they make money when you get your settlement.
If a lawyer’s fees sound too good to be true, go with your gut. Inquire why the rates are so low, and research whether the success rates are worth it.
9. Avoid Any Personal Injury Scams
Injuries are not uncommon. Where there’s a common problem, you can expect scammers are lurking in the background.
Avoid ambulance chasers who make big promises after a car accident. Don’t use Craigslist to find low-cost lawyers with shady experience and ethics.
10. Take Advantage of Free Consultations
Remember, free legal consultations are your best friend. If a personal injury law firm provides free case consultations, take the offer.
Consultations are an excellent way to learn more about your case or if you have a case at all. You can meet prospective lawyers face-to-face to see if they’re a good fit.
Make the most of your consultation by asking plenty of questions.
Get the Settlement You Deserve
You don’t just need a lawyer; you want to win your case and receive a substantial settlement. Follow these tips to find quality personal injury lawyers who will fight for every penny.
Don’t let your injury throw your life off track. Stand up for your rights and get the representation you deserve.
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